Here in Colorado and perhaps even elsewhere in the U.S., there’s no diner breakfast more famous than the Denver Omelet — except maybe biscuits and gravy. You know how the Denver Omelet goes — lots of browned onions, green peppers, diced ham and some ooey-gooey orange cheese. It should be cooked firm and golden brown unlike the pale and buttery French omelets. And while I’m totally fond of a Denver omelet or a French omelet (mushrooms, please), for that matter, I have for quite a while enjoyed a different sort of southwestern egg breakfast here in my kitchen in Colorado Springs. My tender little elegant omelet is whisked with salsa rather than cream or water. It’s cooked slowly and gently in a covered skillet rather than at breakneck speed with constant whisking in an open pan à la française (like the French). Occasionally I turn the burner off toward the end, but leave the covered pan on it for another minute or two to slowly finish cooking my omelet. Good trick to have up your sleeve for any eggs (and some other things, too) you make to avoid an overcooked fry-up.Jump to Recipe
One of my earlier omelets cooked in the slow salsa mode appeared here on the blog not too long ago. Comments I received often cited the pickled onions rather than the omelet itself. I understand that because, if you didn’t watch these eggs being cooked or taste them when they were done, you probably would be drawn to the pink onions. My latest and now steady version features red onions, yellow peppers, avocado and cheese cooked into the omelet, which is then garnished within an inch of its life with more salsa, more cheese, fresh tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Cinco de Mayo breakfast, here we come! Also– unless the mayor comes knocking at the door to tell me otherwise, I’m calling it a “Colorado Springs Omelet.” It happened here, didn’t it? Because I have no intention of becoming a videographer at this stage in my life (ok, I might try for this once, we’ll see), you’ll just have to get out the eggs and other ingredients and scroll through the little photos below….
…before you’re hungry enough try my Colorado Springs Omelet!
Colorado Springs Omelet
- 1 teaspoon salted butter
- 1 tablespoon each diced red onion and yellow pepper
- ½ teaspoon minced jalapeño, optional
- 2 large eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon prepared salsa plus more for garnish
- ½ ripe or nearly ripe avocado sliced
- 2 tablespoons grated Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese plus more for garnish — can sub Cotija
- Chopped tomatoes, sliced green onions, and sprigs of cilantro for garnish
- Get your plate, napkin, and silverware out and ready to go. Make the coffee. Decide on and chop garnishes.
- Heat the butter in a 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until melted. Add onion and yellow pepper +/or jalapeño, if using. Cook until vegetables are softened, 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, a generous pinch each of salt and pepper, and the salsa. Pour into the skillet. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes or until about halfway set. Add sliced avocado on one side and the grated cheese on the other. Cover again and cook another minute or until done to your liking. It should be moist, fluffy, and barely firm without much or any color on the bottom of the omelet. If you're afraid it's not done, turn off the heat and leave it covered on the burner for another minute or two and check it again.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold the omelet in half and slide it out onto a plate. Garnish with reserved salsa, reserved grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, sliced green onions, and cilantro sprigs. Serve hot.
So is it "omelet" or "omelette?" In the U.S., it's omelet. In the UK and in France, it's omelette. Now you know.
Over the next several weeks on the blog — we’ll see how it goes — I’m going to make more of an effort to include tips about how each week’s recipe will hopefully help you cut some food costs or how to cut costs for that recipe. I’ll use the graphic below as an aid and guide. Other tips will appear as needed, of course!
CHANGE IT UP: There are nearly infinite ways to change up my omelet and you can name lots of them. First, you can add the optional jalapeños to the mix. It won’t be searingly warm typically, but that will depend on the heat in your particular pepper. Taste it first and see what you think. Maybe you’d like less or more. I usually would use 1/2 medium jalapeño in pico de gallo, for instance, and it’s just tasty and mildly warm. But I wouldn’t toss it in without a taste test. Second, any sweet pepper and any onion will do to cook with the eggs. The avocado nearly makes this omelet, but I won’t say it’s not luscious without it. We all know that sometimes we cut into an avocado or even two and they’re ghastly nasty. Yuck and shudder. Make the omelet without them and enjoy your breakfast. Cheese? I’m picky. Buy some good grocery store extra-sharp Cheddar cheese like Cabot or Tillamook or Kerrygold Dubliner. You’ll be happy you did. Make a great grilled cheese with some of it! Swap in cotija or even Pepper Jack. Garnishes? I do like them all at once and think they just make the dish, but whichever ones you have or like will surely be yummy.
CUTTING FOOD COSTS: You’re already doing two things that will save you grocery $$: 1)Cooking at home and 2) Making breakfast for dinner. Buy eggs on sale; they keep a long time. If you eat a lot of tomatoes, buy a box at COSTCO or Sam’s. Make a little sauce and freeze it if they’re getting soft or wrinkled. Too many onions in that cheap big bag? Chop and freeze them for soup or sauces or share with a friend or neighbor. You might not have a yard, but nearly anyone can grow some herbs in a pot in a window or on a balcony. Cilantro is easy to grow, can be trimmed and will grow back. Pinch the flowers off to keep it growing and use all you can; it’s lovely mixed in with salad greens if you’re not making Mexican food. Cilantro, by the way, along with parsley, is about the cheapest fresh herb to buy in the store. If you want to buy it instead of growing it, try this: Wash it, chop off the long stems (use for soup or mince into salad), wrap in a paper towel and add to a resealable plastic bag to store in the fridge. You can also trim the bottoms, place it in a couple of inches of water in a jar, and leave on counter or refrigerate for even longer storage. Read up here for more ideas including freezing.
A favorite book:
LIFE GOES ON:
Earth. Wind. Fire. It’s all that’s been happening up on the mesa in Colorado Springs lately. Luckily we, unlike NM, haven’t yet had a great big fire in the past couple of weeks. The photo below is just below our house two days ago and we’re blessed the CSFD got it out quickly. Later that day, several other fires started in town and another (at night) was just a few blocks north of us. We’re afraid to leave home. I can’t remember when it’s rained, but it’s supposed to do it today. So far, nada, nought, nil, zip, bupkis.
Think rain. Think snow.
Thanks for keeping me company in my kitchen. You’re it!
Now get the pan out and make an omelet, if only because it’s a quick meal….